Buddha Purnima is observed as the anniversary of Lord Buddha on the full moon day of Vaisakh (April-May). According to tradition Lord Buddha received enlightenment and died on the same date, and hence the full moon day of Vaisakh is actually the anniversary of the three principle events in Lord Buddha’s life – his birth, enlightenment, and death. He is considered the ninth avatar of Vishnu.
Gautam Buddha “lived and died in about the fifth century B.C. Buddhism was originally a sect within the Hindu way of life. Its originator was Siddharta Gautama. He belonged to the Sakya clan of the Kshatriya or warrior caste. He had a son, Rahula.
The king, his father, had three palaces built for him, and at the age of sixteen gave him forty thousand dancing girls. Yet thirteen years later Gautama left everything including his family to find ” the incomparable security of a ‘Nirvana’ free from birth and endless reincarnation.”
One day, as he sat in meditation under a bodhi tree, he became the “enlightened one”. The “enlightenment” came in Gautama’s thirty-sixth year. His death occurred around the age of eighty. His day was divided between itinerant preaching in the morning and receiving visitors for discussion at night, with the afternoons reserved for private meditation. He gathered a number of followers. He was strongly opposed by the Brahmins for teaching that gifts to the Buddhist order were of more merit than the sacrifices, which Hindus practiced.